Agile framework anti-pattern risks and how to avoid them

schedule Jun 30th 04:00 PM - 04:20 PM place EN 203 (L80) people 27 Attending

An anti-pattern: “something that looks like a good idea, but which backfires badly when applied”.

My recent work implementing scaling frameworks showed me the inherent risk of using frameworks as an explicit means to affect change; any framework will always contain anti-pattern risks.

The infographics associated with frameworks (whether SAFe, LeSS or DaD, Nexus) are always drawn with the best of intent but how they are applied is where things can run contrary to agile principles.

Using real work examples and telling the story of a recent 18-month, 40-team experiment in scaling; Niall will highlight some of the "pot holes" to avoid when using frameworks.

Niall will also present his approach to using frameworks including when and how to "let go" of ceremonies/practices when they become redundant.

Lastly, a coaching approach will be presented to enable coaches to leverage the best of what frameworks offer without getting caught up in dogma.

NOTE: this is NOT a framework-bashing presentation but a hands-on report on the risks of mis-interpretation of any principles-based scaling framework.

 
5 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

Talking, pictures, slides, input from the people in the room

Learning Outcome

I will go through the the various inforgraphics associated with the most common frameworks (LeSS, SAFe, Nexus) showing where the leaders/managers I have recently coached have mis-interpreted the intent resulting in agile anti-patterns.

I will refer to lean thinking and some of the "pure" agile end states and how any framework puts achieving this end state at risk.

Target Audience

Managers, Leaders, Coaches, Scrum Masters

schedule Submitted 6 months ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked Lena Ross
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Lena Ross - Defining Agile as an Organisational Capability

    Lena Ross
    Lena Ross
    Change Consultant
    #changehacks
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    In workshops I’ve run over the last year, I’ve learned that agile, as a word, can mean different things to project and change people, at times also confusing them.

    Defining agile as a capability demystifies the word and helps us understand what it actually means for organisations, teams and individuals. Agility, or agile, is not a methodology; it’s a mindset, along with set of behaviours and practices.

    To be agile is a mindset and a skill set.

    For an organisation to become agile, it needs people who are agile in their thinking, their actions and in their practices.  

    It’s time to make sense of what agile/Agile really means, and identify what change leaders and practitioners can do to create and support an agile environment. This talk will provide a snapshot of what this means.

     

     

  • Liked Peter Merel
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Peter Merel - How To De-Scale Your Organisation

    Peter Merel
    Peter Merel
    CTO
    XSCALE Alliance
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Scaling is an anti-pattern. Big meetings, long loops, slow cadence, tight coupling, and deep hierarchies represent bottlenecks no matter how Agile your individual teams may be. But de-scaling refactors an organisation into self-directing streams of self-organizing teams working together like pods of dolphins.

    How do human organizations de-scale? How can we balance autonomy of teams against alignment to business realities? This session presents principles, metrics and practice patterns for de-scaling based on a long running historical precedent, the Iroquois Confederacy, which sustained a de-scaled society of hundreds of thousands for over five centuries. And the Spotify tribal model. And Steve Jobs' NeXT/Apple culture.

  • Liked Prashant Sagar
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Prashant Sagar - Why you should all kill your agile ceremonies?

    Prashant Sagar
    Prashant Sagar
    Development Lead
    MYOB
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    We all started our agile journey with some recommended template practices years ago. Over many many retros some of the practices persevered, pivoted or perished. In this talk I would like to share a team's experiment on why and what happens when you hit the hard reset button.

  • Liked Ed O'Shaughnessy
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ed O'Shaughnessy / Brad Bennett / Chris Chan / Eduardo Nofuentes / Niall McShane / Peter Lam / Stephen Callaghan - Enterprise Agility Panel Discussion

    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    A diverse set of luminaries to discuss how to enhance agility in the enterprise. Covering all the big scale challenges that large organisations face, such as multiple business lines, disparate technology stacks, geographically dispersed teams, 10s to 100s of products, etc.

  • Liked Michelle Prosser-Roberts
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Michelle Prosser-Roberts - PI Planning Day: A Waste of Time?

    20 mins
    Lightning Talk
    Beginner

    One principle in the Agile Manifesto talks about the importance of face-to-face conversation. SAFe takes this to the next level with PI Planning which is a routine face-to-face event where teams create their plans for the upcoming Program Increment (PI). PI planning is facilitated by the Release Train Engineer (RTE) and includes all members of the Agile Release Train (ART).

    To the non-SAFe practitioner, when they hear about the whole PI planning day palaver, they look askance and shake their heads and think to themselves "what a waste of time".  Is PI Planning a waste of time?  As part of an organisation that have had to embrace a framework to enable them to scale, PI planning is considered the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train.  In this lightening talk, I will share my experience with planning in 10-12 week increments.  Will 5 minutes be sufficient to change your mind?

  • Liked Stephen Callaghan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Stephen Callaghan / Michelle Prosser-Roberts - There and back again: A Journey through Agile Metrics at Scale.

    45 mins
    Case Study
    Advanced

    Any journey is a combination of planning, expectation, experiences, conversations, and knowledge gained.  The metrics journey that this Enterprise Agile Coach and experienced Release Train Engineer have travelled has all of this and more!  And many travelers like to have a copy of their Travel Guide to hand to not only plan their experiences but to help them manage some of the intricacies of their journey.  Consider this talk your opportunity to dip into an expedition through the wilds of agile metrics – with a cheat sheet.

    This presentation will cover:

    • Where am I?  Context is king.  Knowing your starting point is key.  Baseline metrics.
    • Who’s on the journey?  Knowing your audience, who else is on the journey with you and what are their expectations. Agile vs Waterfall PMO. Internal vs External metrics
    • What could go wrong?  Being clear about the challenges for metrics at scale
    • Metrics as your compass.  Using metrics to help identify changes in direction

    We started our metrics journey with different goals in mind and have uncovered some surprising aspects in what works and in particular what doesnt!  In this presentation they weave their expectations, experience and knowledge to show how these perspectives can meet.

  • Liked Daniel Prager
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Daniel Prager - Agile in Everyday Life

    Daniel Prager
    Daniel Prager
    Agile Coach
    Skillfire
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Please don't assume that Agile is only good for Software Development, Startups, DevOps, Change Management, Personal Productivity, Product Development, Marketing, Sales, Time Management, Organisational Change, Educating Children, Operations, Infrastructure, Design, Teamwork and Saving your Organisation just because they are the only things that happened to be on the list.

    Applying Agile principles in everyday life is a great way to not only improve your quality of life, but to experiment with Agile approaches and find out what you've really internalised.

    For coaches and leaders practicing Agile in Everyday Life presents a rich opportunity to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk.

    In this talk I'll give a couple of examples of how I've drawn on Agile approaches to help address personal challenges, plus discuss with the audience what areas folks are "doin' it for themselves".

    This will be an interactive session, somewhere between a talk and a short workshop.

  • Liked Phil  Gadzinski
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Phil Gadzinski - All your Projects are Red until you deliver something working

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    When we decide to move from big batch, plan driven long dated constructs of change, so projects and programs in the traditional sense, to more agile methods, we need to rethink a whole raft of stuff. Assume for a second, if you will, we are using the historical program and project construct to identify and deliver change. Initiatives are bundled into a sequential approach and governed through stages of largely documentation production accordingly. As long as you are on track to the stages, your documents are reviewed and signed off, you are Green.

    Then we disrupt this. We want more agility on how we identify, plan, deploy and release change. We want to deliver outputs to our customers and ultimately value or outcomes earlier and more regularly, which is one of the significant advantages of an agile delivery model. So we get an ROI uplift. Projects can be self funded.

    So lets start a new theory and trial it. EVERY project is red until your first release to a real customer. No more debate, hand wringing, angst or arguments. Recognise and accept that until you have delivered something that tests your theories, is validated and works, and your customers are using it, you have done nothing. Use the RED as it is meant to be - a call to action to pay attention, provide support , facilitate and break through barriers, provide resources and time. Help the team get to done.

    My goal is for the attendees to use this session to actually crowd source and  develop a model that people can take back to their business and propose, from scratch using design thinking and agile techniques. 

     

     

  • Liked Helen Snitkovsky
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Helen Snitkovsky / Daniel Prager / Steven Mitchell - Office drama theatre - bring tough conversations to life

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    This workshop is inspired by drama therapy.  This approach can provide the context for participants to tell their stories, set goals and solve problems, express feelings, or achieve catharsis. Bring in your challenges in adopting Lean, Agile or System thinking. We will stage the story and help you find the solution through interactive play.


     

  • Liked Andrew Elms
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Andrew Elms - The Zen of Agile

    Andrew Elms
    Andrew Elms
    Snr Software Developer
    Computershare
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    I used to get told to be more flexible implementing Scrum. How can I be flexible when there are all these rules and principals to be followed. It seemed like the more flexible I was the more I watered it down till nothing left. Then I gained agile-enlightenment* when I was de-programmed from the cult of buzzwords and hard rules.

    This is what I learnt…

    * Disclaimer: There is no such thing as agile-enlightenment as you will soon see…

  • Liked Ross MacIntyre
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ross MacIntyre / Niall McShane / Sri Paladugu - Turning the Tanker – Learning from Scaled Agile Adoption in a Traditional Organisation

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In this talk we will share our insights from a year implementing Agile on a programme that already described itself as Agile.  Laugh as we recount our 23 team SAFe PI planning event, cry when you feel the pain of the over-worked build teams.  Puke when you learn of the atrocious Jira hygiene.

     

    Bringing ‘genuine’ Agile to a large organisation is not easy.  There are many challenges to face, mindsets to change, battles to be fought and walls to be built.  However given time, it is often the small moments that generate the largest changes.  We hope to share those key moments with you.

     

    We will cover insights from the Agile Coach, Release Train Engineer and a Domain Iteration Manager.  There will be a focus on Agile and Lean principles and how they were applied in key moments that changed the direction of the programme.  We hope these insights and experiences will help others who face similar challenges in bringing Agile to large traditional organisations.

  • Liked Andrew Elms
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Andrew Elms - 5 Signs your MVP isn’t minimal and what to do about it.

    Andrew Elms
    Andrew Elms
    Snr Software Developer
    Computershare
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    MVP is about learning, testing assumptions and deciding if its wise to continue working on the current product or if its better to drop it or pivot to something new.

    I see teams working on year long projects but saying they are working on an MVP. I hear about projects which once the MVP is delivered the project stops. No matter how you define it MVP is not a destination!

  • Liked Rob Manger
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Rob Manger / Many Joy - "How do I test this?" - Exploring test plan design

    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    In this interactive session, Rob and Many from REA Group will go through an exercise designed to explore the agile testing mindset.  Together with the rest of the room we will build up a mindmap of a test plan for a simple application.  

    Testing is an often mis-understood, under-estimated role.  We hope to challenge people into thinking outside the box and give people a better understanding of what a "QA" role brings to a high performing agile team.

  • Liked Mirco Hering
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mirco Hering - Not A Factory Anymore - What got us here won’t get us there

    Mirco Hering
    Mirco Hering
    APAC DevOps and Agile Lead
    Accenture
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    As they say, nothing is more dangerous than using yesterday’s logic for today’s problems, yet we are still working in our organisations with mental models that were inspired by manufacturing. You can see artefacts of it even in the language we use: people are resources and they work in development factories. If we are surprised why our transformations are not progressing as fast as we hoped when Agile took the stage, then looking to these old mental models provides part of the answer.

     

    In this talk I will explain from practical experience in my work, how the old models still influence us every day and how we can break away from them and learn new models. I will give positive and negative examples from real projects to show that it is normal to experience failures and how to course correct from the lessons such failures teach us.

     

    I will also provide pragmatic steps that everyone can take in their own organisations that don’t rely on buying new tools or following specific methods. Charting your own course starts with understanding where the problem is and understanding where our mental models let us down is part of that journey.

  • Liked Benji Portwin
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Benji Portwin - How identity defines Spotify’s culture

    Benji Portwin
    Benji Portwin
    Agile Coach
    Spotify
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    From the outside Spotify is a company who has solved the riddle of scaling agile, but the insiders perspective might surprise you, with our structure more closely resembling a collection of startups sharing a wifi connection.

  • Liked Brad Bennett
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Brad Bennett - How a Large Business Sprints Like an Agile Startup

    Brad Bennett
    Brad Bennett
    Enterprise Agile Coach
    EPiC
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate
    How a Large Business Sprints Like an Agile Startup
  • Liked Niall McShane
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Niall McShane - Why LeSS is the heart of Scaled Agile

    20 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Over the last 2 years Niall has coached teams of agile teams through the launch of two Agile Release Trains (SAFe). Niall helped leaders, managers and teams through the process of adopting SAFe.

    Using his real experience as the basis for the presentation, Niall will make the case for moving past SAFe and going to the heart of scaled Agile using Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS).

     

  • Liked Mark Barber
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mark Barber / Simon Bristow - Lean Change at MYOB

    90 mins
    Case Study
    Advanced

    Lean change management is an approach to organisational improvement and transformation that uses lean startup principles to drive change. Collaboration, feedback and experimentation allow us to make small and incremental changes that we can measure and learn from and counters the big bang approach that so often makes change painful.  Embarking on a journey of discovery and change, we have adopted lean change management and applied it in ways that have created real change at MYOB. We will share our experiences to give you the tools to both assess if lean change is suitable for your organisations, and how to get started if it is.

  • Liked Ed O'Shaughnessy
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ed O'Shaughnessy - Go forth and self organise! Easier said than done

    Ed O'Shaughnessy
    Ed O'Shaughnessy
    Agile Coach
    Computershare
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    An Agile approach encourages organisations to form self-organising teams that are empowered to figure out how to work together and deliver value. But it's one thing to tell a team they are responsible for themselves and quite another to understand what this even means and to put it into practice in a healthy, sustainable and rewarding way.

    This workshop will explore what it means to self-organise through an understanding of the fundamentals, relaying of experiences helping teams in the field develop their self-organising capability, with some simple role playing to illustrate and convey techniques that anyone can easily adopt to help improve their team effectiveness.